Entries are needed for Canal Winchester's fourth annual gingerbread house contest, held as part of the Christmas in the Village celebration.

Entries are needed for Canal Winchester's fourth annual gingerbread house contest, held as part of the Christmas in the Village celebration.

"We try to add new features to Christmas in the Village each year," Canal Winchester community affairs director Carrie Hoover said. "We thought this would be something popular. It has grown. The first year, we had a few entries. Each year we seem to get a few more."

The Winchester Tea Room, 24 N. High St., will serve as the site of this year's gingerbread house contest. Owner Linda Knowlton Kletrovets said she hosted the contest two years ago when she owned Fern's Attic.

"I had it two years ago," she said. "I had a lot of traffic. I wanted to bring more business down this way so people are aware that we have some business at this end of the street."

The contest was moved to the Winchester Tea Room because the Garden Herb Shop combined with the Harvest Moon Coffeehouse and there wasn't enough space, Hoover said.

"The space that we used is no longer available," she said. "The Winchester Tea Room has a nice space and it was available, so it was a good fit."Kletrovets said the tea room is a good space for the contest because she has huge windows in the front.

"You can see them from inside or outside," she said. "I have more space than I did two years ago when I was at Fern's Attic."

Hoover said the gingerbread contest provides Canal Winchester residents a creative outlet. Her favorite entry was a replica of town hall.

"People use their imaginations and come up with neat ideas," she said. "The public seems to enjoy going through and seeing the different ones people have made."

Two of Kletrovets' favorite entries were a replica of Ohio Stadium and a replica of the Canal Winchester train depot, complete with stained glass windows. "There are some really talented gingerbread makers," she said. The gingerbread house contest is a good fit for Christmas in the Village, Kletrovets said, because gingerbread houses are associated with Christmas. She said the contest gives residents a chance to get involved with the festivities.

Hoover said anyone can participate, contest entries are divided into two age groups, 12 and younger and 13 and older. "The youngest has been about 4 years old," she said.

"The kids have so much fun making them," Kletrovets said. "They get so excited when they bring them in. They are just so proud of them."

Gingerbread houses must be homemade. Everyone who participates receives a certificate and the winner in each category will get a prize donated by a local business.

Houses should be brought to the Winchester Tea Room between 11 a.m. and 7 p.m. on Dec. 2 or between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. on Dec. 3. Judging will take place at 6 p.m. Dec. 4.

Those wishing to keep their gingerbread houses will need to make arrangements with the tea room when they bring in the houses for the contest.

For more information about the contest or Christmas in the Village call Hoover at 834-9272 or email choover@canalwinchesterohio.gov .